The Harvard financial Aid Program is available to both international and US citizens. The aid includes both scholarships and grants whose funding is mainly from alumni, general tuition revenues, Harvard endowment funds and federal and state grants. The scholarship covers each student’s financial need for all four years of study based on financial information provided by the student each year. To qualify, the aid considers the individual’s financial circumstances, the effectiveness of the aid program, the demand for the aid from all students and the university resources.
- The First Step Is To Get In
As with many other scholarship applications, you need an admission letter to apply. And, this might as well prove to be the hardest part. The scholarships are need based. However, merit does play into the formula, it is after all Harvard. Therefore, if you are admitted, there is almost a 100% chance you will get a scholarship. Harvard has practically made it so that anyone accepted into the university will be able to attend regardless of their financial situation.
- Make Sure You Parents’ Salary + Yours do not sum up to $65k
We are not asking you to lie about your financials. There is a strict auditing process to verify this information. The financial aid is need based. That is, families whose incomes are below $150k are expected to pay not more than 10% of the required fees. Often this ends up being less than 5%. For those families with incomes less than $65k, they are not expected to pay anything at all. So, if your annual salary + that of your family sum up to less than $65k, your chances of getting a full scholarship are higher than those of someone whose family earns more.
- Be Honest About Your Financials
In the end, it is the university that determines if you will be able to afford the fees. There will be an exhausting amount of paperwork, especially for international students. It gets worse if you or your parents own a small business. The information must be verified by an independent agency in your country that Harvard trusts.
- Outside Awards
You can also apply for scholarships from other external sources. These awards will be used first to reduce or replace the term-time work portion of your award (students usually have to work 10-12 hours per week). The awards may also be used to replace student’s summer earnings contribution, but not the student’s parent contribution. Check this link to find out more about outside awards at Harvard and where to find them.
Although the scholarship will cover essentially everything, the scholarship is not technically a “full” scholarship. You will be required to raise $6k as self-help. This is essentially obtained from university-term time job and summer job savings. Most universities provide even more ways to obtain this amount that are easier than getting an off-campus job.
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